Cathay Pacific slashes capacity growth plans

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Cathay Pacific Group is cutting capacity plans as traffic has declined dramatically amid protests in Hong Kong. 

Passenger numbers decreased 11.3% year over year in August; inbound traffic to Hong Kong dropped 38%, and outbound traffic went down 12%, the carrier reported. 

"August was an incredibly challenging month, both for Cathay Pacific and for Hong Kong … and we don't anticipate September being any less difficult," said chief customer and commercial officer Ronald Lam. Demand for premium-class travel declined more than leisure demand, he added.

With a "significant decline in forward bookings for the remainder of the year," Cathay Pacific has adjusted its capacity plans for the winter season, which runs from the end of October to the end of March. Previously, the carrier planned winter capacity to grow more than 6%. Now, it will contract slightly, according to Lam. Even so, the group is moving forward with plans for new first and business class products and a new dining product for its economy cabins, he said.

Cathay also has lost some of its top leadership in recent weeks, including CEO Rupert Hogg and  chairman John Slosar, who will step down in November.
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Source: Business Travel News

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